Dear Friends of YEP,
Hello! Thank you for being so interested in YEP's current status.
YEP's Kicks Off Year By Volunteering
This year, Youth Engaged in Philanthropy kicked off their year at West Bloomington Active Garden (WBAG). The 12 new members joined the remaining 13 veterans at the grant recipient's garden to help maintain the garden and see the current status. Colleen Connelly, founder of WBAG and a YEP alumni, provided an introduction to the garden, then told the
youth how YEP's funding contributed to the growth of the community garden that helps provide fresh produce to families across Bloomington-Normal. It was a great day to give back and to start the year. To learn more about West Bloomington Active Garden, check out their
Wide Variety of Schools Represented
This year, Youth Engaged in Philanthropy has a wide variety of schools
represented. U-High, Normal Community, Normal Community West, BHS, Tri-Valley and El Paso are all involved in this outreach. In June, Claire Meyer and Anaiah Simmons traveled up to Michigan to the Youth Grantmakers Summer Leadership Conference to learn about Youth Advisory Councils. Anaiah Simmons said "I had a really great time at this youth conference, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to meet so many people through the common goal of philanthropy!" When they came back to Illinois, they came back with several ideas. A Needs Assessment Committee and participating in more volunteer activities quickly became two goals of YEP thanks to these two young women.
YEP Sets Goals for the Year
During the July meeting, YEP got together and wrote down goals for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. Our goals include: Going on more asks, volunteering more as a group, creating a needs assessment, fundraising $5,000 and having over 35 YEP applicants for the 2018-2019 school year. So far, we have created a needs assessment committee, hosted a guest speaker on asks and advertised volunteer opportunities in meetings. We consistently bring up our goals in meetings and discuss what we can do to achieve them throughout the year.
Focus on Growing as a Group
This year, YEP has also put a large emphasis on growing as a group. We started this in August with a trip out to TimberPointe Recreation Center. YEP was led through a variety of different tasks with special emphasis on trust, communication and fun. Some of the activities included walking a tightrope with a partner and being blindfolded and relying on someone to guide you through the woods. We plan to continue the trend of team bonding in December with a Holiday Party.
Three Committees Staying Busy
This year, we have three main committees: social media, video and needs assessment. The
social media committee has work
ed hard to achieve their 220 Facebook likes. They are helping YEP reach the goal of getting more applicants for grants and the new cohort next year. The needs assessment committee is in charge of making and rolling out a needs assessment to some of the YEP schools.They have modeled their assessment after an example of a survey that Claire and Anaiah brought back from the Youth Grantmakers Summer Leadership Conference. Currently, they have a draft of the Needs Assessment and asked their fellow YEP friends to fill it out. After that, they plan on giving it to the 5 Bloomington-Normal high
schools. Finally, the video committee has made progress this year by asking the YEP group to do "Why I Give" photos and videos. These will be incorporated into the final video, which they are still working on. This will serve as a great advertisement for the group.
Guest Speakers Help YEP Members Develop Skills
Throughout the year, YEP has had 4 guest speakers. This started in September when Connor McGregor from the Bloomington Edge came and talked with the group. He presented the idea of having YEP sell tickets, have a booth and be on the field at one of their games. We have decided to go forward with this and are excited to work with Connor more in the spring! In October, we had 3 guests come and speak with us. Susan Moore presented on asks and we built our confidence while learning new skills. She prepared us to effectively go on asks and we plan to implement her strategies. Don Meyer also came and helped us with parliamentary procedure. Since this is what we use in meetings, it was beneficial to review how to make a motion and other procedures. Finally, at the end of the October meeting, Tim Leighton, the president of Illinois Prairie Community Foundation came to congratulate and challenge us. It was a great experience to meet him.
YEP is a great group this year comprised of 3 freshman, 3 sophomores, 12 juniors and 7 seniors; we are continuously growing as a group.
If you would like to do more for YEP, you can like our Facebook page or donate online to help build our endowment. All of us here at YEP thank you for being so active in this group; we truly could not do it without your support.
Youth Engaged in Philanthropy